Date #18: Dad and The Cobra…

Finally. Date #18! I was on the fence about posting this one because I didn’t take a single picture. The pictures I’m posting are from The Cobra’s Instagram (#cobratucson). I decided to go ahead and post it because I did this one in honor of my Dad, who passed away on 9/3/2021.

His passing was sudden, and it has been a shock for me. We were supposed to be having my Mom’s memorial service on that same weekend. She passed away on 9/12/2020. My family has requested to delay her services due to COVID concerns, which has been really difficult for my brother and me to not be able to have that closure.

It feels strange to be an orphan. My parents were divorced when I was about 3 years old. My Mom moved us across the country and I only was able to fly out to visit my Dad a few times over the course of my childhood. We were estranged for some years in my adult life, but were able to repair most of that over the past several years. Though we weren’t close in proximity and had some struggles, I knew and felt how much my Dad loved me. He had a giant sensitive and loving heart. You could break his heart with a feather. He had the best laugh, smile, and a really fun and interesting way with words. My Dad was fun, playful and affectionate.

He was a Harley/biker guy and would take me to his favorite biker bar and introduce me to his friends. We would hang out and play Space Invaders and Pinball. We would stay up late and would geek out to The Twilight Zone on late night TV. He gave me my love for giant roller coasters by introducing me to Cedar Point and all of its roller coaster glory. We would snuggle on the couch for naps when I was young and he would rub my palm or my forehead and I would fall asleep. He loved to be silly and laugh with me.

Despite our tough times over the years, we always had a strong bond. We talked very regularly. I really wanted to get my boys out to meet him and am sad that we missed that chance. He loved talking to them on the phone. I know Dad was neglecting his health and the situation in his home was in decline. He wasn’t taking care of himself, my stepmom was also struggling with some health issues and their house was in disrepair. I sensed that he wanted to see us, but he didn’t want to see us under the circumstances.

So now that you know a tiny bit about my Dad, my date choice will hopefully make sense. He did NOT want any funeral/memorial services. I chose to celebrate his memory by going to The Cobra Arcade Bar to play old school video games and pinball in his honor. I was hoping to find Space Invaders there, but they don’t have it. There were plenty of other classic games and pinball machines though.

I grabbed a margarita and a bunch of tokens and spent the evening playing games and thinking about Dad. I haven’t completely lost my touch with my favorite games. I got my initials on Centipede, and managed the high score on Ms. Pac-Man for that bar. Dad would be proud. 😁 I considered checking out a biker bar, but I couldn’t be sure I could find one with games in it. Cobra is a really cool place, and I’m sure Dad would like it.

I’ve thought to myself “I need to call Dad” many times since he died. The days I have that feeling tend to be really hard. I really miss him, mourn the lost possibility for him to meet my boys and I feel untethered.

It’s also really difficult that I didn’t grow up with him. I wasn’t really a part of his every day life. I feel a little bit like a tumbleweed in terms of where I fit into the process of his passing. All I can do is focus on dealing with my feelings of loss and be as available as possible if my stepmom reaches out for support. I worry about her. She has family nearby, but she often talks to me about how much they’re stressing her out and she doesn’t know what she’s going to do. I know we’ll all work through everything with time. I’ll just take it all one day at a time. I miss and love you Ka-Dad.

Well, thank you for reading! It’s time to tumbleweed my way to Date #19. 🙂

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